Jesus was at it again. This time it was the disciples who had provoked Him. In the relatively short time they had been together, they saw Him perform a number of miracles while confounding the religious leaders with His understanding of the Scriptures and His teachings. According to Mark’s narrative, Jesus not only ordained twelve disciples, but He also gave them the power to preach and work miracles (Mark 3:14-15).
On this day, after an exhausting time of teaching, Jesus was taking a well-deserved nap as they traveled by boat across the Sea of Galilee into the country of the Gadarenes. Mark tells us that a storm arose and “waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water and about to sink” (Mark 4:37, TLB). By this time, the petrified disciples awoke Jesus and said unto Him, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to drown?” (v. 38), at which point Jesus arose and “rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet down!’ And the wind fell, and there was a great calm!” (v. 39). When calm was restored, “He asked them, ‘Why were you so fearful? Don’t you even yet have confidence in me?’ And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, ‘Who is this man, that even the winds and seas obey Him?'” (vv. 40-41). After all that they had seen up to that time, they still had no idea who Jesus really was and what He was able to do.
Before we judge them too harshly, are you and I any different? We spend time with Jesus, talk about Jesus, and we have the benefit of reading all about His ministry and the miracles He performed, but how do we react when we are faced with life’s storms and our individual boats are filled with water? The disciples had the power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils, but calming a storm was something different! Yet in His rebuke, Jesus revealed something quite profound. He said unto them, “Why were you so fearful? Don’t you even yet have confidence in me?” Their problem was they had no faith in Him or His ability to calm what He had dominion over.
What does this have to do with you and me? It really comes down to what we do when we are facing life’s storms. We can become overwhelmed and afraid or we can trust God and His ability to take care of His own. The Wisdom writer was rather profound when he said, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25). As long as we have mustard-seed faith in God we do not have to be intimidated by life’s storms; we do not have to be anxious, nervous, or afraid. Life happens and sometimes bad things happen to God’s people. In the midst of it all, He still asks the question, “Why were you so fearful? Don’t you even yet have confidence in me?” God can do whatever He says He can do. It is up to you and me to believe Him.